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Donald Reimer

Donald Hugh Reimer

Saturday, June 18th, 1932 - Saturday, November 14th, 2020
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Obituary

Donald H. Reimer passed away November 14th, 2020 at Health Sciences Centre with his wife Mary by his side, after complications related to a stroke on October 29.
Don was born in Steinbach, Manitoba, on June 18, 1932, and raised in nearby Kleefeld, where his father was a well-loved schoolteacher. He had an older sister (Olivine), and two younger brothers (Stuart and Louis), all of whom predeceased him. When he was ten years old, the family moved to Steinbach into a house that he had helped his father (Gustav) to build, and which featured beautiful flower gardens in the front and back yards. Don later designed a home for his own family, which also featured beautiful flower gardens.
After completing high school Don attended the University of Manitoba, where he graduated in 1961 as a Doctor of Medicine. He began to work at the Winnipeg General Hospital, where he had earlier met his wife, a nurse, Mary (Peters). They were married in 1962 and enjoyed each other’s love and support for 58 years.
In 1963 they moved to Thompson, Manitoba, where Don worked as a General Practitioner in family medicine for seven years. Don and Mary’s two daughters were born in Thompson (Heather and Carol). Since then the family has grown to include two sons-in-law (Bruno and Brian), and five grandchildren: Sara (Cameron), Paul, and Jonathan; Nathan and Matthew.
Don adored and is adored by his family. He often built special projects for around the house (ranging from furniture to adding a small greenhouse to their home a year ago). He also built cherished toys for his kids and grandchildren (including a backyard playhouse and a pirate ship). More recently his stained-glass artwork and water-coloured paintings have graced the walls of his and his children’s homes. He embodied a calming presence, steadfast support, principled resolve, and unconditional love. He was a loving husband, father, father-in-law, and grandfather.
Don was an amazing and multi-talented person. After serving as family doctor in Thompson, Don and his family moved back to Winnipeg, where he began his training in anesthesiology. He worked at Health Sciences Centre for 25 years, where he treated many patients and served as the director of the anesthesia training program for family practitioners. He also became responsible for the purchase and maintenance of anesthetic equipment and received an award for 20 years of service on the Canadian Standards Association Committee on anesthetic equipment, as well as representing Canada on the International Standards Association. Prior to retiring, Don and Mary volunteered their services in Ethiopia, where Don served as instructor of anesthesia, and Mary as nurse in the medical Intensive Care Unit. This was a rewarding experience in a country with a rich cultural tradition.
Don enjoyed his retirement years immensely, which included volunteering in thrift shops with his wife Mary and serving on the board and as a medical advisor at the Reh-Fit Centre. Retirement also provided opportunities for him to satisfy his broad curiosity, which included participating in many book clubs and reading many books, starting with the classics of English literature, to the latest books on climate change, sociology, and theology. He and Mary also took 30 courses on topics like the history of western and eastern civilization, and a course on the Dead Sea scrolls that captured his imagination.
Don was a life-long church-goer, and exemplified the teachings of peacemaking, treating others with dignity, and the equality of everyone. He was particularly interested and well-versed in the influence that the first-century Essene community may have had on Christian teachings. He valued his friendships from the Thompson United Mennonite Church, Charleswood Mennonite Church, and Fort Gary Mennonite Fellowship. He also valued his friendships at Reh-Fit, which became like a second family, and with the RODEO group (Retired Old Doctors Eating Out), neighbours, St. Mark’s group, his K-group, and so on.
Don was a humble and gentle-spirited example of what it means to do no harm. He acted justly and loved mercy in all his dealings. He was kind and considerate to a fault. He lived at peace with everyone and did not put on airs. He had begun to do his part to combat climate change decades before most others. Don loved nature, gardening, and especially flowers.
Don faced many heart-related health issues over his life, which he addressed with unflinching discipline and good humour. Don was thankful for the quality of life he enjoyed, aware that it was longer than might be expected for someone with the heart issues he had inherited. He appreciated his medical caregivers, and we as family are particularly grateful for the care he received in his final weeks, especially that of Dr. Jain.
Don was cognitively fit till the end and told us that he was at peace with passing away. A final beautiful parting gift from truly a wonderful man.
A service to celebrate Don’s life is being planned by the family.
In lieu of flowers, if you so wish donations may made Mennonite Central Committee (Manitoba), Oak Table, or a charity of your choice.
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Private Condolence
KT

Ken & Carolyn Thielmann

Posted at 05:10pm
Sending our love and condolences to your family...Mary, Heather & Carol. Just read of your loss today online. A wonderful tribute to your husband & father. Hugs.
Ken & Carolyn Thielmann
JD

Jake & Eleanor Dueck

Posted at 07:23pm
Hi Mary,
We want to express our condolences to you as you mourn the loss of your dearest friend & husband, Don. Although we did not know him personally, I recall being informed before one of my surgeries, that Dr. Reimer would be my anesthetist, and the overwhelming feeling of relief I felt that God was there with me, assuring me of His presence by sending someone of my acquaintance into the OR as His angel to watch over me. As God looked after me then, He will care for you now through His people who love and care about you. May you experience His nearness & blessings even during this difficult Covid time as you look forward to that time of Reunion in Eternity.
Jake & Eleanor Dueck.
CT

Charlotte & Trevor

Posted at 03:21pm
Dear Mary and family,

We are very sorry to hear of Don's passing. We will remember him as a kind and gentle man, who was always willing to listen.

Charlotte & Trevor
MW

Michael West

Posted at 03:20pm
Dear Mary,
Lydia and I count ourselves fortunate to live in your neighborhood and to have enjoyed a unique friendship with you and Don. I first met Don when I was a medical student, rotating through the Anesthesia department at Health Sciences Centre where he was my instructor and mentor. I have remembered him with respect and admiration since then. He enjoyed a remarkable career in medicine. His obituary describes well his marvellous personality. I emphasize the picture that his colleagues had of him; a man of integrity, humility and compassion, as well as a model of moral and ethical behavior. He was a talented and committed clinical teacher, recognized for his pragmatism and willingness to listen to the other person’s side of the story. He managed his illness with faith and patience. You and your family were huge supports to him. We will miss him dearly.

Lydia and Michael West

Carol Ellerbeck

Posted at 11:58am
Dear Mary and family,

Am so very sorry to read that Don passed away. You are very much in my thoughts but know that God will wrap his arms around you and comfort you in your grief and mourning . Take care Carol Ellerbeck
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